There are many reasons that people legally change their names. Most commonly, that has to do with marriage and divorce — but there are plenty of other valid reasons, as well. Maybe you just want a name that suits you better than the one you were given when you were born.
Once you’ve made the decision to legally change your name, there are a few things you will need to remember moving forward.
What to remember when you’ve legally changed your name
Legally changing your name is not something that should be entered into casually. Here are some tips that can help:
- Notify Social Security: When changing your name, one of the first steps is to contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) as soon as possible and have your Social Security card updated. Without that, you cannot get many other necessary documents changed to reflect your new name.
- Update all other institutions: In addition to Social Security, there are numerous institutions, organizations and departments that will need to be updated with your new name. Make a list of every place you may have documentation that needs to be updated. For example:
- Driver’s license
- The Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
- Post office
- Voter registration
- Mortgage companies
- Insurance companies
- Credit cards
- Update your online accounts: You may need to change everything from your email to your social media pages.
Ultimately, you want to make sure that your name transition goes smoothly, and that means making sure that all of your paperwork is in order. Ask the court to provide you with extra certified copies of your name change to make the process easier.
There are many, many steps involved in legally changing one’s name. The above is merely a good place to start.